William Hudson Ball
William Hudson Ball b. 28 Oct 1893, Buffalo, New York d. Sep. 5, 1980 Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana
Buried Beech Grove Cemetery Muncie Delaware County
Indiana, son of William Charles & Emma (Wood) Ball
William Hudson Ball, Sr., 86, widely acquainted former Muncie civic leader and industrialist and Indiana
philanthropist, died Friday evening in St. Vincent's Hospital at Indianapolis following several month's
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Ball came to Muncie at the age of three with his parents, William C. and
Emma (Wood) Ball. William C., who died in 1924, was one of the five Ball brothers who moved their
Mason jar manufacturing firm to Muncie from Buffalo in the 1880's, it was the predecessor of Ball
William H. Ball graduated from Howe Military Academy in Indiana, Hillsdale College in Michigan and from
the Cornell University School of Engineering in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1918. He served with the Army in France
during World War I and afterward became associated with Ball Brothers Company, now Ball Corp., as
secretary and vice-president prior to retiring in 1947. Following World War II, he was with the Central
Intelligence Agency in Washington during the directorship of the late Gen. Walter Bedell Smith.
In 1953 he served as personal representative of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in ceremonies
commemorating the Cecil Rhodes Central Africa Centenary.
In 1960, he and Mrs. Ball moved to Indianapolis, where he was the owner of several automobile
dealerships including Auto Imports, Ltd; he constructed the original Indianapolis Volkswagon
dealership on West 16th St. there.
He was chairman of the board of directors of the Indianapolis-based Haag Drug Company 1950-67. He
was the first president of the Indianapolis Symphony Society, elected in 1936, and serving as chairman
for several years; he was responsible for bringing Fabien Sevitsky to Indianapolis as symphony conductor
following the retirement of Ferdnand Schaeffer. He was a founder and the first president of the Muncie
Civic Theater Association, serving as the organization's chief executive 1931-1941.
Mr. Ball was an honorary board member of Ball Corporation and the Merchants National Bank of Muncie,
after serving many years as an active board member. He was a trustee of Hanover College and Howe
Military Academy, a member of several Masonic bodies in Muncie and of the Scottish Rite, Valley of
Indianapolis, and a life trustee of theIndianapolis Museum of Art. He was a former active member of
Muncie Rotary Club, and the American Legion , and he was a member of the Muncie Club, and the
Columbia Club of Indianapolis. .
He and his wife, Agnes Medsker Ball, who survives, sponsored a number of arts and musical events on
the campus of Ball State while residing in Muncie. The Ball family home was at 52 Warwick Road in
Westwood, now the site of the Baptist Student Foundation.
Surviving in addition to his wife, Agnes, are a daughter, Mrs. Sam (Lucina) Moxley,Indianapolis; a son,
William H.Ball, Jr.,I ndianapolis; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be made at the Meeks Mortuary.
m. 14 Nov 1917, Muncie, Indiana Agnes Marian Medsker b. 3 Dec 1892 Muncie, Delaware, Indiana d. Mar
1985 in Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, buried Beech Grove Cemetery Muncie Delaware County Indiana,
daughter of Chauncey L Medsker & Leonore A Bowles
Agnes Medsker Ball, former prominent resident of Muncie and widow of William H. Ball, died last night at her
home in Indianapolis. Her husband, who was the son of William C. Ball, one of the five Ball brothers,
served at one time as a cons ultant at the Washington bureau of the Central Intelligence Agency and
represented President Dwight Eisnehower at a centennial celebration in Africa. He died in 1960.
Mrs.Ball was born in Muncie, the daughter of Chauncey and Leora Bowles Medsker and lived here until
moving to Indianapolis in 1950.
Mrs.Ball raised, trained, and showed American standard bred horses at Orchard Lawn Farm, now Orchard
Lawn Addition, from about 1935-1945. She also raised and showed championship minature poodles and
for three consecutive years owned the championship minature poodle in America.
In her early years she was active in music circles, an interest that continued throughout her life. She was
once a member of Muncie Matinee Musicale, and she and her husband sponsored a number of musical and
arts events at Ball State while living here. She was formerly active in philanthropies including the Indianapolis
Symphony, Indianapolis Opera Company, Indianapolis Museum of Art and Indiana Music School at Bloomington.
In addition, Mrs. Ball was a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Alpha Chapter of
Psi Iota Xi, D.A.R., Colonial Dames, Columbia Club and Poodle Club of American.
Surviving are a daughter, Mrs Sam (Lucina) Moxley, and a son, William H. Ball Jr.,I ndianapolis; six grandchildren;
and a sister, Mrs. Pa ul (Margaret) Fitzgibbon, Sarasota, Fla.
Services will be at 3 p.m. tomorrow in Meeks Mortuary, with the Rev. Ronald Naylor, pastor of First Presbyterian
Church in Muncie, officiating. Entombment will follow in the family mausoleum in Beech Grove Cemetery.
Friends may call at the mortuary an hour before services.
1920; Census Place: Muncie Ward 4, Delaware, Indiana; Roll: T625_426; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 32
Household Members: Name Age
William Ball 27
Agnes M Ball 27
Year: 1930; Census Place: Muncie, Delaware, Indiana; Roll: 583; Page: 26B; Enumeration District: 21;
Household Members: Name Age
William H Ball 36
Marian A Ball 37
1 Lucina Amelia Ball
2 William Hudson Ball
||William Charles Ball|
From early manhood the career of William Charles Ball, manufacturer and philanthropist,
was part of the career of the Ball Brothers of Muncie, so to relate his business and
philanthropic activities merely wo uld be to repeat the story of his family, given in
various forms in this history of Indiana.
A contemporary biographer has said of him "Publicity held for him no charms." His fine
platform work, which on occasions held a "message" for his audiences is well known, for
he was an eloquent speaker, but he was quite willing for the other fellow to enjoy the
With those who knew him intimately his natural reserve vanished, and he entered into the
topics of general interest, evidencing a most c ultured mind and sound judgment.
He attended the public schools and completed his scholastic education in the Academy at
Canandaigua, New York, to which his parents removed when he was fifteen years old.
In 1877 he and his three brothers, Frank C., Edmund B. and George A., formed a business
partnership under the name of "Ball Brothers" and established a small factory in Buffalo,
New York, for the manufacture of tin oil cans. In 1884 glass oil cans and glass fruit jars
were added to their products, and when natural gas was discovered in Indiana, in 1887, the
brothers came to Muncie and put up a small factory, which grew into a fruit jar concern that
eventually dominated the world's fruit jar market.
When Mr. Ball died, in 1921, the little factory that he and his brothers had in stalled in
Muncie, he being secretary of the company, occupied with its buildings seventy acres, gave
employment to 1,500 persons and with its branch at Wichita Falls, Texas, had a daily output,
in season, of over half a million glass fruit jars. Since this time other branch plants have
been established, at Huntington, West Virginia; Hillsboro, Illinois; Sap ulpa and Okmulgee,
Oklahoma, and Noblesville, Indiana, increasing the total daily output to a million fruit jars
As was true of his brothers, Mr. Ball had many and varied interests in business and
philanthropics outside of the fruit jar business. To detail them would require an article of
its own. The gifts the Ball Brothers have made to educational, charitable, character forming
and civic purposes total many millions of dollars. William C. Ball while he lived always was
a part of these donations, and his estate since his death has participated in them.
Mr. Ball was born near Greensburg, Trumb ull County, Ohio, August 13, 1852, and he died in
Muncie, April 21, 1921. He was married, December 22, 1890, to Emma, daughter of John D. Wood,
of New York City, who survives him. She has been very active in the work of the Universalist
Church, in the Federation of Woman's Clubs and is a past regent and for over twenty years has
been chaplain of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The only child born to Mr. and Mrs. William C. Ball is William Hudson Ball, who is secretary
of the Ball Brothers Company, representing the second generation in the business his father
helped to establish. A more complete sketch of him appears elsewhere in this publication.
Politically William C. Ball was a Republican, was a member of the Universalist Church and
superintendent of the Sunday School of St. John's Church.
He utilized his business merely as a medium by which to confer the greatest good, but his modesty
kept much of his generosity unknown. He had an active faith in the universal brotherhood of man,
and every worthy cause had an irresistible appeal to him. More than that, he had gifts of intellect
and aesthetic tastes which made him a lover of the arts and sciences and endowed him with a wide
culture derived from the classic authors of prose and poetry, with which his mind was richly
INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 3
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
WILLIAM H. BALL, secretary of the Ball Brothers Company of Muncie, is a son of the late William C.
Ball, one of the five brothers whose partnership relations began in early manhood and whose
collective genius made the name and business of Ball Brothers of national scope and importance.
William C. Ball for many years remained as representative of the family interests at Buffalo, New
York, but spent his last years in Muncie, where he died April 30, 1921, and is buried in the Beech
Grove Cemetery. The fame of the Ball Brothers as manufacturers has reached into every corner of the
civilized world. During the past ten years their contributions and practical work in the field of
education and philanthropy promise no less rich returns for the world at large. The Ball Brothers
have given millions of dollars to education, benevolence and general welfare work, distributed
among institutions in different parts of the country, and Muncie has been partic ularly fortunate
through the support of the Ball Brothers of such institutions as the Ball Memorial Hospital, the
Ball Teachers College, the Y. M. C. A. and other objects.
When it was formally opened, on August 4, 1929, the Ball Brothers Memorial Hospital was pronounced by
hospital authorities from different parts of the country as an unsurpassed physical plant for its use
and purpose as a general hospital. It represented an outlay of more than a million dollars and its
location adjoins the grounds of the Ball Teachers College. The building realizes not only all of the
requirements for a standard hospital construction, but in many features represents the last word in
architectural details, the mechanical and technical facilities, and also the achievement of harmony
in material arrangement and atmosphere which put this institution a long step in advance of the
conventional type of hospital.
One of the auxiliary features of the hospital is a plant built for the sole purpose of producing milk
and other dairy products for its use. The hospital is, in fact, an almost self-contained institution,
having among its many departments a butcher shop, laundry, drug store, bakery. The dairy plant, which
is the partic ular hobby of Mr. William H. Ball, is located ten miles north of Muncie, on a farmof 320
acres. A herd of sixty Guernsey and Holstein cattle, practically all pure bred, were brought from the
heart of the Wisconsin dairy belt. The dairy barn, 80 feet wide, 100 feet long and 50 feet high, was
designed and constructed with the single purpose of securing utmost cleanliness in the production of
milk products for the hospital use. The mechanical equipment includes not only elaborate ventilating
devices and methods that prevent the contamination of the milk, but also milking machinery, cooling
apparatus and prompt delivery service to the hospital, where there is equipment for pasteurizing,
grading and testing for all the requirements of the dietary.
Mr. William H. Ball is the only child of William C. Ball and his wife, Emma (Wood) Ball. Mrs. Emma
Wood Ball resides at the beautiful family home in Muncie. She has been very active in the work of the
Universalist Church, in the Federation of Women’s Clubs, and is a past regent and for over twenty
years has been chaplain of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
William H. Ball was born at Buffalo, New York, October 28, 1893, but was reared and educated in Muncie,
attending grade and high schools there, and. was graduated in 1911 from the Howe Military Academy. He
took his A. B. degree at Hillsdale College at Hillsdale,Michigan, one of the institutions to whcih the
Ball Brothers have made large gifts. After leaving Hillsdale he specialized in chemical engineering at
Cornell University. In 1917 he enlisted, was in training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and at Camp Logan
inEastern Texas where he was put in the Fifth Division. With that division he went overseas in April, 1918,
and took part in the St. Mihiel campaign from September 14 to September 26, and was in the Argonne from
November 2 to November 11. After the armistice his division became part of the Army of Occupation. He
received his honorable discharge on July 7, 1919.
Mr. Ball on his return to Muncie became identified with Ball Brothers Company, being a director, and
after the death of his father was chosen secretary of the corporation, the office he now fills. He is
also a director of the Merchants Trust & Savings Bank, the Merchants National Bank, the Peoples Home
and Savings Association, and the First Rural Loan & Savings Association. He is a past master of Muncie
Lodge No. 433, A. F. and A. M., belongs to the Royal Arch Chapter and Knights Templar Commander; and
is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason. He has filled chairs in all the Masonic bodies at Muncie.
He is a director of the Kiwanis Club, a member of Muncie Post No. 19, American Legion, belongs to the
Delta Tau Delta fraternity, is a Republican, and, like other members of the family belongs to the
Universalist Church. He was in the church choir for nine years.
He married at Muncie, November 11, 1917, Miss Agnes Medsker, who attended school in Muncie and has
likewise been identified with the Universalist Church since early girlhood, and for a number of
years was in its choir. She is an accomplished musician, having carried on her studies in Chicago.
She is a member of the Psi Iota Xi sorority. Her father C. L. Medsker, has for many years been a
leading member of the Muncie bar. Mr. and Mrs. Ball have two children, Lucina and William Hudson.
INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
William Charles Ball's ancestry is -
Edward BALL Esq. Born About 1642 in New Haven, Connecticut?. Died About 1724 in Newark, Essex Co.,
New Jersey. Occupation Sheriff Of Essex Co., NJ In 1693. He married Abigail BLATCHLEY, daughter of
Thomas BLATCHLEY & Susanna BALL, About 1664 in Branford, Connecticut. Born About 1648 Probably in
Branford, Connecticut. Died After 31 May 1698 in Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey. They had 7 children
of whom is:
Thomas BALL. Born 1687/1688 in Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey. Died 18 Dec 1744 in Newark, Essex Co.,
New Jersey. Buried in Old Burial Grd., Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey. He married Sarah DAVIS, daughter
of Thomas DAVIS & Mary WARD, About 1710/1712 in Probably Newark, New Jersey. Born 1689/1690 in Essex
County, New Jersey. Died 1 Feb 1778 in Essex County, New Jersey. Buried in Connecticut Farms, Union
Co., New Jersey. They had 12 children of whom is:
Moses BALL. Born 1735 in Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey. Died About 1775. Established the "Ball family
homestead" at Springfield, New Jersey. He married Lucretia DALGLEISH. They had 2 children of whom is:
Jonathan BALL. Timeline: "Canada" (Ancestors & Descendents of John Ball, LDS film 861040) He was a
soldier in the Revolutionary War and afterwards moved to Bridgeport, Addison Co., Vermont - then
across the line to Canada, locating at Ascot and Sherbrooke. He married Sarah STYLES. They had 1
child who was:
William BALL. Born 31 Dec 1784. Died 1866 in Tonawanda, NY. He married Marcey HARVEY. Born 22 Jun
1784. They had 9 children of whom is:
Lucius Styles BALL. Born 6 Jan 1814 in Ascot, Canada. Died 25 Jan 1878 in Canandaigua, New York. We
was the father of the 5 Ball Bros. of Ball Masonry Jar fame and Ball State University. He married
Maria P. BINGHAM. Born 4 Jan 1822 in Stanstead, Canada. Died 27 Apr 1892 in Muncie, Indiana. They
had the following children:
i. Lucina Amelia BALL
ii. Lucius Lorenzo BALL formed Ball Brothers partnership in Buffalo, New York & came to Munice.
iii.William Charles BALL formed Ball Brothers partnership in Buffalo, New York & came to Munice.
iv. Edmund Burke BALL formed Ball Brothers partnership in Buffalo, New York & came to Munice.
v. Frank Clayton BALL formed Ball Brothers partnership in Buffalo, New York & came to Munice.
vi. Mary Frances BALL
vii. George Alexander BALL formed Ball Brothers partnership in Buffalo, New York & came to Munice.
viii. Clinton Harvey BALL
After moving the business to Muncie, Indiana, in 1887, the brothers also launched what would become Ball